Just got a PM from someone asking for a photo or diagram of my electric setup. It's dead simple, and fully manual.
by Michael D. Hamilton
, on Flickr
Basically, I split the power with aluminum distribution blocks, then ran power to switches and back to a receptacle where I plug in the elements. I also put a switched plug for a March pump. All of it is hooked (via 40A range plug) to a subpanel with a 40A GFCI. The elements are 4000W and 3500W. We run both to heat the strike water (and to get our wort up to a boil), then shut one off for maintaining the boil. It works really well. We've been brewing on it (10 Gallon batches) for over a year now.
I had originally intended to use a PID and SSR (even bought them), but it seemed too complicated, so we built it like this with the intention of upgrading it in the future. We really like the way it works as-is, and intend on keeping it in the current configuration.
Anyone want to buy a PID and 40A SSR?